Researchers first discovered the antidepressant effects of ketamine back in 2000, and have since come to recognize the drug’s ability to improve depressive symptoms—even in patients who had not responded to other methods of treatment—in a matter of hours. Private ketamine clinics, like ours, began to open their doors around 2013, bringing hope to many people who had none.
Now, ketamine has made quite a name for itself in the world of mental health. Described as “miraculous, ”a “wonder drug,” and “truly remarkable,” ketamine continues to show unparalleled promise for treating such psychiatric conditions as depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, and more. It also continues to be a highly controversial treatment for depression, though science is slowly silencing the naysayers.
Researchers are still coming to understand the exact mechanism that makes ketamine so effective for the treatment of depression, aggressively studying the effects of this drug in an effort to answer questions about how it works. As we welcome a new year, let’s look back at the developments that have been made in 2017 regarding the use of ketamine for depression.
- Esketamine, an isomer of ketamine developed by Johnson & Johnson, was fast-tracked for FDA approval and has since undergone three clinical trials.
- Ketamine showed promise as a treatment for alcoholism and other types of drug addiction. The drug was effectively used to curb cravings for both alcohol and cocaine.
- Ketamine earned media attention for its potential to prevent PTSD in first responders and military personnel. After ketamine administration, patients exhibited a blunted fear response to the kind of stressful shocks that could lead to PTSD development.
- The American Psychiatric Association reported that, while evidence suggests a very strong and rapid antidepressant effect, more data was needed about the long-term safety and efficacy of ketamine to recommend mainstream use.
- Researchers at Oxford University called for the use of ketamine for depression to be rolled out, arguing that the dangers of not using the treatment outweighed the potential risks, especially in patients with suicidal ideation.
- The FDA Adverse Events Reporting System analyzed & presented data supporting the use of ketamine for the treatment of depression.
- Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center discovered the potential antidepressive mechanism that makes ketamine such an effective antidepressant.
- Ketamine effectively treated depression in a senior population of Australian patients.
- Researchers sought patterns in patient behavior to indicate whether or not ketamine would work to treat their depression. Circadian rhythms and activity levels may determine how effective ketamine will be for a specific person.
- Ketamine showed major promise for the treatment and prevention of migraine headaches. It also gained traction as a treatment for chronic pain, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease and CRPS.
- Researchers explored whether the sex of the administrator matters when it comes to using ketamine for the treatment of depression. In mice, when ketamine is administered by men, it is significantly more effective than when administered by a female. There is no indication that sex matters in the administration of ketamine to human patients.
- Most recently, ketamine has been proven to reduce suicidal ideation within a matter of hours.
- In 2017, positive reports regarding the use of ketamine for depression were published in or featured in Time, Men’s Health, Forbes, CNBC, and Business Insider.
With so much time and attention being directed towards the study of ketamine, we’re excited to see what new developments 2018 brings.
This article was re-posted with permission from our friends at Vitalitas Denver. They can be found online at https://www.ketaminedenver.com/ Thank you!